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“Conscious Uncoupling”: a process, not a pretentious term

‘Conscious Uncoupling’ was the title of the statement released by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin on the Goop website, announcing their separation:

Conscious Uncoupling

It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.


Gwyneth & Chris

The words “conscious uncoupling” have attracted derision from certain quarters of the media today, but the term may not be so new or unusual to long-time readers of this blog. Some of you may recall the paper written by my son Ben, a lawyer himself.

His is a complicated study, based on many authoritative sources in the field, which focuses upon the concept of “uncoupling.” Ben writes in detail about the uncoupling process and the need for education about this. He rejects the wisdom of keeping failed marriages together. Instead, he concludes that the uncoupling process is, by the point of divorce, complete and irreversible.

You can read the full paper below.

Benjamin Stowe – A Socio-Legal Study of Divorce and Family Law in England and Wales by Stowe Family Law

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Tristan says:

    “Conscious uncoupling” is mealy-mouthed Doublespeak. They ought to use simple English, like “we’ve had one too many a barny”.

    Unconscious uncoupling won’t do much for the rock star father’s street cred.

  2. Luke says:

    ‘A Conscious Uncoupling’, ‘A Contemplative Marital Dissolution’, ‘A Considered Partnership Withdrawal’, call it what you like, if you look at his history, her history, their personalities and their relative ages then statistically it was highly likely that a euphemism of one kind or another similar to this was going to get used…

  3. A conscious uncoupling makes divorce much easier - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] today we took a quick look at the idea of conscious uncoupling. However I have also found the essay written by Gwyneth […]

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